CRISSP seminar: Jutta M. Hartmann

CRISSP is happy to announce another installment in the CRISSP Seminar series:

Lecturer: Jutta M. Hartmann (University of Tübingen)
Title: Focus, Predication and Specification: the Case of It-clefts
Date & time: 28 November 2011, 17.30-19.00
Location: CRISSP/Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Stormstraat 2 (Hermes building), room 4109
Participation: free

In this talk, I investigate the syntax and information structure of it-clefts. It-cleft sentences share a number of properties with specificational copula constructions, and I will propose a similar syntactic analysis, namely as inversion structures. Concerning the information structure, it is shown that the clefted constituent or subparts of it are contrastively focussed. This analysis of focus presented also accounts for the existence of the so-called predicational clefts (Declerck 1983). Finally, the paper suggests that the interpretation of specification is a function of the focus structure. The specificational reading arises when the subject of predication is focused.